web analytics
August 23, 2014 / 27 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Happy New Year? How Do You Know?

         Just days ago, millions of people all over the world welcomed in the secular new year of 2008. A great majority did so by partying well into the night, overindulging in food and drink, singing and dancing and generally making a lot of noise. They were wild with excitement that a new calendar year was beginning.


 


         This unconditional embrace of a (manmade) “new” year has always puzzled me. Since the future is unknown – how can one so blindly embrace it? How can these celebrants be so sure that 2008 will be a “happy” year for them? How can they be so confident that the forthcoming days, weeks and months will be “benign” – and that there aren’t events ahead that won’t be ones of tremendous loss, chaos or death?

 

         Jews celebrating their New Year are not in such denial or such a blissful state of oblivion to the potential of a harsh reality. We know that the quality and quantity of our lives determines every new year. We are all too aware of what can befall us, for whereas we hope and pray that we will have a good year – a shanah tovah - we know only too well that various calamities can happen to us and to our loved ones. We know that we all are on trial and that the Master of the Universe is judging us and His verdict will be sealed and eventually executed.

 

         Hence we act accordingly. We spend the two days of our new year in deep prayer and heartfelt supplication, pleading with our Creator to bless us with a pleasant year – whether we merit it or not. And on Yom Kippur, our Day of Atonement, our day in Appeals Court, so to speak, we spend the entire time fasting and pleading with the Heavenly Judge to be merciful for our lives are totally in His hands.

 

         During our prayers of appeal we silently wonder – who will live and who will die? For those who will get a decree for life – will they have tranquility or chaos? And of those who will die – will they die peacefully, or painfully? Will they have enjoyed the full measure of their years, or die prematurely, painfully or violently? There is no being oblivious of reality on our New Year, nor is there blind optimism.

 

         Spending most of our holiday in our synagogues, in trepidation and even anxiety, admitting to G-d that we ignored the guidelines He gave for our own benefit, and begging Him for forgiveness and mercy – seems the sensible way to observe a new year, a new cycle of time. Mindlessly partying into the wee hours of the night – often to the point of being senseless – does not.

 

         It was estimated that there were about a million people who thronged to New York City’s Times Square to greet the new year, flushed with excitement and in a state of exhilaration. Yet did any take a minute to wonder what kind of year they will experience? Did they take a time-out and spend a moment contemplating what could happen to them or those they are closely connected to in the upcoming months? Will they get a problematic medical diagnosis; lose their job and/or their home? Be severely injured in a car accident? Die in a fire or drown in a flood (As we say in our Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur daveningme b’aish u’mi b’mayim.)

 

         Every year, just days, even hours after the new year begins, there are news stories of people who were killed or murdered and I have no doubt that these very same individuals were cavorting and merrymaking on News Year’s Eve.

 

         I would think, if anything, they should celebrate the year that just ended. Obviously they survived that one and if they are able to party – they must be in relatively good physical and emotional health. Thus on New Year’s Eve, perhaps they should party because they got through 2007 relatively intact – and not so mindlessly greet an unknown new year.

 

         Every Rosh Hashanah, I tell myself that I must have had a successful davening because I’m still here and while I might have had my “ups and downs” during that cycle of time, nothing negatively out of the ordinary happened. Thus I ” celebrate” and thank Hashem for the past year – even as I daven that the year ahead will be a palatable one.

 

         Perhaps those celebrating 2008 should take a time out from their New Year partying – and say a prayer as well.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Happy New Year? How Do You Know?”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
4 yr old Israeli Daniel Tregerman, murdered by Hamas rocket on Aug. 22, 2014.
IDF: Israeli Toddler Murdered by Rocket Fired Near UNRWA School/Shelter
Latest Sections Stories
Teens-082214

As they fall upon us we go
To the WALL.

Twenties-082214-Girls

One minute you’re shaving shwarma off a pit, then the shwarma guy tells you he read a (fake) WhatsApp that the boys are dead.

Lewis-082214-Gaon

I probe a little deeper and Shula takes me into the world of phantom pains and prosthetic limbs.

Astaire-082214-Main

This went on until she had immersed eighty times, and then Hashem at last took pity upon her.

Because Menachem lives in Israel, he can feel the ruach in the air.

Perhaps you can reach a compromise during this news frenzy, whereby you will feel more comfortable while he can still follow the latest events.

Leon experienced the War of Independence from a soldier’s perspective, while remaining true to his Jewish ideals and beliefs.

Chabad of Arizona centers recently hosted an evening of remembrance to mark the 20th yahrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

A CPE class at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn was tailor made for Orthodox participants.

“I didn’t choose the landscape; it chose me.”

Woe to us that we have to be put to death like common heathen and murderers!

More Articles from Cheryl Kupfer
Kupfer-080114

Unpleasant happenings are quickly discarded if they do not affect us directly.

Kupfer-071814

I have always insisted that everything that happens to anyone or anything is min Shamayim.

It is so hurtful to heighten people’s sense of inadequacy and guilt in a matzav that is already horrendous and difficult to bear.

Make no mistake: in the wrong hands cars are weapons of mass destruction.

Where once divorce in heimische communities was relatively uncommon, nowadays every family has a son, daughter, sibling cousin who is divorced – sometimes twice or even three times!

Many go about the business of living frum, observant lives, but they are only going through the motions.

Lately I have been hearing quiet grumblings from people who admit that they regret not encouraging their sons to get a post-high school education after a year or two of learning.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/happy-new-year-how-do-you-know/2008/01/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: